In Origins of Jesus Mythicism: Confused Esoterica and Angry Polemic, Jesus mythicism is shown to have its origins in Renaissance esoterica (particularly with Renaissance Hermetism) that was inherited by various “secret societies,” and finally coalesced in France around the time of the French Revolution. While the initial ideas (based on astrology) were quickly dismissed by scholars, they gained popularity among nineteenth century occultists and other cranks. Other more scholarly theories also appeared but these too were often traceable to the same dubious lineage.
By the time the story is done, Jesus mythicism is shown to be rooted in Western European conceits and accumulated errors overlaid with crackpot conspiracy theories of Christian origins. Once you know how it evolved, it will be difficult to ever take it seriously again.
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The contents of the book are as follows:
Chapter 1 – Remnants
Chapter 2 – Hermes Revisited
Chapter 3 – Recycling the Dream
Chapter 4 – Perfect Storm
Chapter 5 – Golden Age of Mythicism (1830-1950)
Chapter 6 – The Lean Years (1950-1995)
Chapter 7 – Jesus Mythicism Redux (1995- ?)
Appendix 1 – Zeitgeist, Luxor Temple, and the Nativity of Jesus
Appendix 2 – Gerald Massey, Acharya S, and the Immaculate Conception
Appendix 3 – Chief Seattle of the Prairie?
Appendix 4 – The Orpheus Amulet
Appendix 5 – Acharya S, Bart Ehrman, and the Penis-Nosed Rooster-Man
Appendix 6 – Acharya S and the Crucifixion of Horus
Appendix 7 – Tom Harpur Defends His “Research”
Appendix 8 – Mushroom of Revelation
Appendix 9 – Dan Barker on God and Evil
Appendix 10 – Dan Barker’s Debate Debacle
Appendix 11 – Augustine, Al Stefanelli, and Documentation